by Jeff Milo
This is the -psychedelic- we often talk about fleetingly conjured to categorize anything with enough pedal stomped freak-fury that its wobbly-loudness might inspire googly-eyed spooky-zazz, but from the first track on the Rue Moor Counts 2nd album, it's clear they ain't fucking around, with grooves struck so deep those guitar-heads like shovel blades spark hellfire, truly, this is not the pedestrian lava-lamp loony space-rock, this quartet brings pure fireball rock, flames ringing your essence as you propel through walls of television screens, all glorious grimace as you let those wavy echoes wash over and wring you out.
Pure (guitar-bass-drums-howls), amped-up (pretty much -to 11) and unabashed in its hallowing of -riffdom; relentless in its knotted-up, flexed out deluge of blistering solos.
That's side one, at least. This is a full album, an LP, no less (on vinyl) that samples the underworld as much as the heavens, the sinister, yes, but, later for softer songs, the celestial.
Rooted, I suppose, mostly-at least, in -the blues ("A Serpent Weeps"), but bewitched by the alluring elixir swilled when stirring a folk-ish/Americanan with the pillar-kicking kartwheels of, yes, a psychedelic surge and a gut-blown garage rock, this quartet can still reel it back, quiet those guitars, keep things earthy and acoustic and shuffle through some tinny ragtime-tinged charmers (hear: "Walk The Valley"). And, dear lord, how those cellos and chimes swoon on the bonus track...
Perhaps frames of reference would be 13th Floor Elevators, Brian Jonestown Massacre, or if maybe if the Stones had started up-ten-years-late into the British Heavy Metal wave - but that's really just for this record.
The band recorded it themselves at their Ferndale based studios but had to do a bit of the label-loitering, waiting for something solid to come through for about a year's worth of time before deciding to release it (June 23) on their own, (for now, at least). Since then, singer/guitarist Robbie Buxton said, the band (currently: Jarvis Logan, Dusty Jones & Josh Nicely) are sitting on a whole-other-album's worth of material.
One word: "Heavier..."
"We don't worship the devil or anything," Buxton said of the title. "But, we definitely have a bit of evil in what we do. There's some darkness, yes, but there is some beauty to the darkness. There is that balance and we definitely feel like troubadours with what we do, 'cuz there's no one really helping us except for the people who love it."
(^That includes guys like Chris Johnson, who books the Deep Blues Festival up in Minneapolis, a long-time fan and supporter of the Counts, who'll be inviting the quartet up at the end of June to join this year's line-up).
When they get back in July - they'll get right into the new songs.
But in the meantime, they've got an album release show to play:
backed by dreamy droned / mesmeric modulators The Electric Lion Soundwave Experiment, a newer band called Blacker Magic and the return/reunion/re-something of surfy-psyche-grinders The Friends of Dennis Wilson.